Eduardo Don, the President and CEO of Orange County, Calif.-based Lumen21, shares three suggestions he'd apply if he were starting an MSP from scratch today.
1. Go "pure MSP"In my opinion there are folks that are pure MSPs and there are partner folks who are really resellers that are in the MSP business. And that's really two different things.
We happen to be a pure MSP business, and we did that by design from the start. We would probably do it again, going forward, in that it gives you an independence that it really doesn't matter what your clients end up buying, what label it's on.
It's just a function that you're taking care of a certain technology that they have. There's no reselling a product or anything. I think there's a good deal of MSPs that are a blend.
If you need a server, a desktop, you need some software; we'll point you in directions of micros and CDWs, and places to go procure it. We'll help you figure out what you need to figure out, but reselling is really a function of distribution, not a function of an MSP.
You'll find that many people do both. The reality is that that's done so that you really can develop your business. It's a revenue decision, it's really not a services decision.
2. Focus on cloud - The way the industry is going, I think that the on-premise solution is going away. I think you've got to be thinking about the cloud and how that's going to impact your business. That's a game-changer for people in the MSP business. You've got to be thinking about cloud.
3. Sell security and compliance - You have to pick your spots. As far as the area of your specialty, it could be a vertical; it could be healthcare. And if you choose to be in healthcare, as an example, you have to deal with issues of compliance and security.
I think those are the MSPs that are going to thrive in the future as this business changes. I think that's going to be more of an area of added value. I would have representation around security and compliance, and if you're doing security and compliance, you're probably going to be focused on certain verticals where this would be most impactful.
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